Sony takes on iPod with new hard-disk Walkman

Sony unveiled its first MP3-compatible, hard-disk Walkman music player on Tuesday in an attempt to recover ground lost to Apple Computer's iPod.

The world's biggest consumer electronics maker aims to reclaim the market for portable and personal music devices, which it helped to launch 25 years ago with its first Walkman. The product will be available in Britain before Christmas at $462.70 (249 pounds) and elsewhere in Europe in early 2005 at $489 (369 euros).

The new hard-disk player is the successor of Sony's first hard-disk Walkman, which it introduced this summer but which can play back only music compressed with Sony's proprietary Atrac software. Atrac is the format Sony uses on its Internet music shop Connect, which opened in Europe this summer. Putting MP3 playback capability in the new Sony Walkman NW-HD3 means consumers can directly import and export tracks in the MP3 format, which is more popular than Atrac.

View: Picture of Sony's HD based Walkman

News source: C|Net

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